The NHL has announced a couple of key dates on next season’s agenda, including the home opener, the Winter Classics (it’s the double next year in Pittsburgh and Calgary), and Hockey Day in Canada. The matchups have usually been Sens-Habs in the matinee game, Leafs-Canucks at 7 and Oilers-Flames in the late game. Next season, Hockey Night in Canada is doing something differently and mixing up the matchups.
In the early game, it’s still the Ottawa Senators, but playing in Deadmonton against the Oilers. The Leafs will play the Habs at 7 and the Canucks will host the Flames in the late game. I love this idea, since it always seems Ottawa wins their games against Montreal and pretty interesting that they play an early game out West. It could also be the last time they play in Rexall Place since it’s looking like they’re building a new arena out there.
What I don’t like is the idea of two Winter Classics thought. Not only are there 2 points on the line in front of the elements, but the NHL is just over-hyping this? Why should the Penguins be in it again, just to play Alex Ovechkin and the Caps? Why should the Habs be in it against the Calgary Flames? What rivalry do those teams have?
My idea, just make the All-Star Game into the Winter Classic. Select a venue every year and market it. The NHL’s best playing against each other on a frozen pond. There’s no need to involve real teams in this.